Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall Brussels Sprouts Salad

Here is an easy and delicious salad that's perfect for a holiday side.



5 cups Brussels sprouts, stems trims and quartered
1 cup chopped apple (Gala, Pink Lady work well)
¼ cup slivered or chopped almonds
¼ cup golden raisins
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and trim stems of Brussels sprouts and cut into halves. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray and roast for 20-30 minutes, (turn/toss them half way through) until lightly browned and tender but firm when pierced with a fork. Let Brussels sprouts cool and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Chop up the cooled Brussels sprouts and add them along with the apples, raisins and almonds to the bowl and mix well until evenly coated with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the fridge if not serving immediately.

Makes 6 cups 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 160 Protein 4 g Carb 20 g Fiber 5 g Sugars 11 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 120 mg


Monday, November 11, 2013

In The News: Eating Chocolate May Lower Body Fat??

More possible good news for chocolate lovers…a new study indicates that higher chocolate consumption may be associated with lower levels of body fat!?  The research was actually conducted in Europe focusing only on the adolescent population, with over 1400 participants ages 12.5-17.5.  The study revealed that higher consumption of chocolate was associated with lower levels of total fat (all throughout the body) and central fat (in the abdomen), independently of whether or not the individual participates in regular physical activity and of diet, among other factors. 

Chocolate is rich in a type of flavonoid called catechins, which are very protective against heart disease "due to their antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects" note the researchers   It is possible that catechins may also have an effect on both cortisol production and insulin sensitivity that could help regulate weight and obesity potential.  

I think it is too early to tell and the authors of the study did still point out that it is important to consume chocolate in moderation.  In addition, the authors also noted that they did not have info on the type of chocolate consumed.  Not all chocolate is created equal either, pure dark chocolate is likely to be more beneficial than consuming milk chocolate and that found in mixed products such as junky candies in my opinion and from what I have seen in previous scientific literature. Still this research is promising and it will be interesting to see what additional studies tell us.  I'm sure many of you are rooting for chocolate for sure!!

A great review of the study can be found here and here is the link to the original study abstract that was published recently in the journal Nutrition

And enjoy a little chocolate by breaking of a small square from a high quality dark chocolate bar or in my Chocolate Walnut Coconut Bites and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bar recipes!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Yogurt

A Fall inspired recipe, so simple - but clean, delicious and great for breakfast, a snack or even a healthy dessert!
One 6 ounce container of plain non-fat yogurt
1-2 teaspoons (packed) of brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all of the above and eat! (you can even do this right in the yogurt container itself).  Chill if not serving immediately
Makes one serving
Serving size one container of yogurt Calories 120 Protein 9 g Carb 20 g Fiber 0 g Sugars 20 g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 140 mg


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